Blood stained the streets of Mogadishu on Jan. 11, 1948 as Somalis protested the possible return of Italian rule to Italian Somaliland, which had been controlled by the British since 1941. One report stated the clash between Italian supporters and the Somali Youth League, Somalia's first political party, was fueled with "bullets, arrows, broken bottles and knives," leaving over 50 Italians dead. One year later, as the U.N. General Assembly debated whether to reinstate Italian control, more protests rattled the city. In November of that year, it was decided that Italians would once again hold trusteeship, but only under the pretext that Somalia would gain independence in ten years.
On the left, the British flag is lowered on April 1, 1950, marking the end of British rule. Pictured to the right, the Italian flag is immediately raised. The picture was provided by the military, as Oats and the rest of the Royal Air Force were not allowed to attend the ceremony for their own safety.